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Response to Just To Clarify Blog Question 10

Response to:

Fountas & Pinnell’s Blog Post Question 10: Much has been said about the role of teachers in teaching children how to read, but what role do school administrators, coaches, and other teacher leaders play?

Hello Irene and Gay,
I connected with your above recent Blog post from, Just To Clarify: Question 10. I am a District Literacy Intervention teacher, and I am taking my Master’s in Education, through Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. For my present course’s final assignment, we have been asked to connect with an online Professional Learning Community (PLC), to talk about curricular development and the role PLC’s play in education. Additionally, as a part of the literacy leadership team at my present school, I have been asked to facilitate the setting of a school-wide literacy goal, and I thought you would have even more words of wisdom for me so that I may aspire to be a leader as you describe in your answers to Question 10.

I am wondering if you could tell me more about your conceptions of curriculum and which underlying philosophical beliefs you use as a framework for your body of work. If I had to guess, I would say your philosophy demonstrates Progressivism. For me, your comments show that “knowledge leads to growth and development… [and that you strive to help] …teachers learn how-to guide problem-solving for their students [by] …focus[ing] on active and interesting learning for their students” (Ornstein, 1991). This shows a Humanistic curricular design, as well as touching upon the elements of both, Child-centered and Experience-centered curriculum designs (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2013).

Additionally, I also hear a Socio-Cultural-based design perspective in your desire to encourage administrators, coaches, and other literacy leaders to act as change agents. I see this done in a couple of different ways. Firstly, in your emphasis on building and promoting a culture of collective responsibility for the success of all the students; as well as, holding an expectation of ongoing professional development for all educators. Another point discussed in your blog post shows me your social consciousness is through your desire to reinforce the cultural traditions of all students by honouring and respecting the unique places that our students come from. Thirdly, and phrased so eloquently, is the importance of “creating a trusting environment, a place where teachers can investigate, try new things, make mistakes, correct mistakes, and help each other” (F&P Blog, Question 10). Furthermore, I agree with your assertion that for a school to demonstrate this kind of culture their needs to be capacity building for the shared leadership within a school (F&P Blog, Question 10). Cate Watson (2014) helps us to better understand that the building of PLCs is a ‘complex phenomenon’, though when done in a trusting manner, the PLC “holistically invites an examination of professional practices and the development of ‘teacher leadership’ in schools” (p.20). As this is my interest, I am keen to learn more about how to inspire and attract shared leadership amongst colleagues within the school setting.

Thank you for your consideration of this post and I look forward to conversing with you about best practices in leadership development soon.


Ornstein, A. C. (1990/1991). Philosophy as a basis for curriculum decisions. The High School Journal, 74, 102-109.
Ornstein, A. C., & Hunkins, F. P. (2013). Curriculum: Foundations, principles, and issues (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson. Read Chapter 6, pp. 149-173.
Watson. (2014). Effective professional learning communities? The possibilities for teachers as agents of change in schools. British Educational Research Journal, 40(1), 18–29.

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